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The Benefits of Internships during College as an Engineer

Hi, I am Gabbie MacNeil, a rising senior at Loyola University Maryland majoring in computer and electrical engineering. Originally, I was majoring in mechanical and materials engineering but found myself switching majors after taking linear circuit analysis. The material clicked for me and I quickly found myself developing a passion for computer engineering, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. With Loyola being a smaller sized school, it has provided me with a lot of opportunities within the engineering program. For example, I will be participating in a research study in quantum computing this upcoming fall. It is amazing to have the opportunity to complete research during my undergraduate so that I can prepare myself for graduate school.

This summer I had the opportunity of doing an IT internship at Newforma Inc and learned more than I could have imagined. Not only did I learn a lot about the world of IT, but also about myself as a worker. It gave me confidence that I will be able to successfully take what I am currently learning in school, and apply it to the real world. One of the reasons why I chose to do an IT internship is because my end goal is to work in computer hardware security. By starting with an IT internship, I learned a lot about base level security issues. Since my major isn’t solely IT, I had a lot to learn this summer. Luckily, my manager loved being able to educate me about the applications that they use and networking.

I found myself doing a lot of troubleshooting this summer, which is luckily a skill that my engineering design classes taught me how to do effectively and efficiently. Troubleshooting can be frustrating, but also very rewarding. I have learned how to analyze an issue, brainstorm different reasons as to why something isn’t working properly, and research different ways of solving the problem. Some classes that helped me this summer were digital logic, signals and systems, and VLSI. These classes have furthered my understanding of how computers operate which proved to be helpful when certain problems occurred.

Doing internships over the summer or during the school year is extremely beneficial. They help you take some of the things you have learned in the classroom and apply them to real life. It is a great time to experience different job opportunities and fields while you are still developing your skills in the classroom. There are a lot of different paths that I can take as a computer and electrical engineer and I am excited to see what new type of internship I will experience next summer.

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